Business

This week in tech stock: Choppy IPOs = end times?

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With the absolute glut of tech IPOs this fall, we’ve noticed a trend: A sweet spike followed by a steady drop.

Maybe that’s just what IPOs are all about. But in looking back at tech IPOs past, the same trend isn’t as apparent. Google’s financial wizards used a Dutch auction process to minimize day-one “pop” and never saw stock drop below the initial pricing of $85 per share; rather, the price rose steadily throughout the years to follow.

GOOG Chart

And Yahoo’s 1996 stock price saw a steady decline for its first six months of public trading, only picking up speed a year or so after its debut (kinda reminds us of Facebook). Here’s a two-year chart:

YHOO Chart

For contrast, we’ve written story after freaking story lately trumpeting the glorious “pop” for countless tech IPOs — ooh, it’s up 34 percent! 80 percent! — only to watch prices deflate rapidly in the days to follow.

Here’s a snapshot of seven recently debuted tech stocks we’ve written about. All but one saw a significant price increase from the opening bell to the closing bell, and all but one is currently faring rather poorly in public trading.

BNFT Chart

Chalk it up to poor pricing, climate change, PMS — whatever. But the pattern is definitely there.

The bigger question is, where will these companies (and their stock prices) be in a year’s time? And you can bet your last donut that this blog will still be here, searching for answers to Wall Street’s persistent questions.


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